Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of President Kennedy.Â It seems like an eternity and yet in someways,Â for me, it seem like yesterday.Â Now I was only 4 years old at the time of JFK’s death but I do have a few recollections.Â The clearest recollection is that of being at my aunts house looking at all the pictures of what was called the Zapruder film.Â More
When politicians try to “punish the rich” it is the middle class that pays the price.Â History agrees as I will showÂ you later.Â But lets take a practical example.
What would happen if movie theaters all raised the price of tickets to $75 per seat. They would all get rich correct?Â Of course not. People would find something else to do and empty theater seats would insure less money to deposit in the bank.Â You could also lay off all but one lonely worker to run the concessions.
I’ve always believed based on actual numbers that lower tax rates increase revenues. The goal of movie theaters is to find the sweet spot where they charge the most they can while still filling as many seats as possible.
If you “punish the rich” enough, like the former movie watchers, they will check out and find something else to do with their money besides put it at risk in business ventures. More
I rarely watch the NFL anymore. So I was surprised to hear people talking last week about the NFL replacement referees. Of course things really exploded when the final play of the Monday Night Football Game turned out to be a game deciding controversy.
When I hear non-sports oriented friends expressing outrage, well that interests me. So I started scanning the internet, Facebook and twitter. I found some general consensus of opinion.
- Replacement referees are bad, “real” referees are good.
- NFL management is crazy. The credibility of the game is being eroded
- Just give the “real” refs whatever they want; the NFL has tons of money
What I didn’t see anyone questioning was,
- What is the “real” refereeâ€™s role in all this. After all they turned down the NFLâ€™s offer. I was curious to find out what was in that offer.
- Might this be good for the NFL?
First off, there appear to be 121 union referees in the NFL. They earn between $70,000 and $200,000 for about a half-years work at 20-25 hours a week. For most, this is a second job. Supplemental income so to speak. They have a pension plan that projects to pay out about $100,000 a year for a referee that retires after 20 years of service.
Tell me, who gets a six-figure annual retirement check for 20 years of part time work?
The internet consensus seems to go something like this, “millions of dollars are riding on their decisions; they should be payed well.” Which in response, one twitter user mentioned that he works full time making life-and-death decisions as a paramedic and he only makes $30,000. Needless to say, he didn’t have a lot of sympathy.
How can this be good for the NFL?
The NFL revenues are driven by viewership. With all this chaos going on I’m pretty sure more people are going to be watching the next few weeks. Everyone loves to watch a train wreak.
It just might be the first reality TV that is — real.
Long term, the NFL will weed out the worst refs and continue training and replacing others. Eventually the screw ups will become less and less. No one in their right mind thinks there are only 120 people in the world capable of refereeing an NFL game. So at some point the “real” refs will realize that they are quickly being forgotten.
People will start to remember that they never really liked those old zebras anyway.
My prediction is the referees will settle for the current offer, with a couple of throw away concessions from the NFL. The current offer replaces, going forward, the existing pension plan with a 401k in which the NFL is willing to contribute at a rate of 10% of salary. Who gets such a generous retirement contribution these days? This, after all, isn’t the Chicago teachers union.
(Detailed facts are hard to come by since this is a labor dispute. Â So if you find a better source that shows my figures to be wrong leave a comment and I’ll check it out. Â In general I’m pretty confident the figures used are pretty accurate)
The following is a guest post by my long time friend Russell Green.Â A fellow Oregon Duck Fan, Russell’s backyard is the home of Duck Gnome.
The Fed is doing a new round of QE3 — Quantitative Easing Round 3 — and buying up mortgages at $40 billion per month, or something like that.
The condensed version is the Fed is printing more money so that we can keep borrowing it. Seems like sound economic policy to me. (Not!!) Before long our dollar will be worth a couple of pesos.
Although not exactly the same, I think I will ask my board to raise my salary More
The days are getting shorter and Fall is in the air. That means its time for Football.
The Oregon Duck’s redshirt freshman quarterback, Marcus Mariota, will be a sensation. Why? I expect him to be one of the most accurate passers that will have ever played at Oregon. Secondly, his passing will be in stark contrast to Oregon’s last quarterback. Daron Thomas was an excellent decision maker — a mediocre thrower. In addition, Mariota is fast enough to beat most defenders in a foot race. It may not happen in the first game but I expect heads to be turning by the third week.
How good was Oregon’s last recruiting class? More
- $60 million fine
- No Bowl Games for 4 years
- Loss of 40 scholarships during this time.
Such sanctions will relegate Penn State to the has-beens of college football. Â It is just not possible to have a reasonably competitive program with those kind of sanctions.
The question; is it fair?
The mob mentality thinks it may not be enough. Â I would argue, based on what we know today, any NCAA sanctions are misguided. More
The housing market has been though a lot the last couple of years and most of it has been negative. There is constant news about new foreclosures and 98% of those who know what a short sale is had no idea 3 years ago. Personally I’ve watched the value of my house drop about 25%.
Where does it end? I’ve looked at some data this week that seems to indicate that the market here in the Salem-Keizer area may have bottomed out. Let me explain. More
Today marks the 66th anniversary of what has come to be known as “The Longest Day.” The invasion of Normandy, also known as D-Day and Operation Overlord, was the day the world held their breath.Â The all out assault by the allies was launched with the winner likely to win the war.Â Either Nazi Germany would win our Europe would be reclaimed.Â This may have been the most important day in modern history, such were the stakes.
150,000 troops landed on the beaches during the early morning hours to be welcomed by German fortifications and guns on the cliffs above.
The PBS website describes it as follows:
D-Day’s Impressive Numbers
An invading army had not crossed the unpredictable, dangerous English Channel since 1688 — and once the massive force set out, there was no turning back. The 5000-vessel armada stretched as far as the eye could see, transporting over 150,000 men and nearly 30,000 vehicles across the channel to the French beaches. Six parachute regiments — over 13,000 men — were flown from nine British airfields in over 800 planes. More than 300 planes dropped 13,000 bombs over coastal Normandy immediately in advance of the invasion.
War planners had projected that 5,000 tons of gasoline would be needed daily for the first 20 days after the initial assault. In one planning scenario, 3,489 long tons of soap would be required for the first four months in France.
By nightfall on June 6, more than 9,000 Allied soldiers were dead or wounded, but more than 100,000 had made it ashore, securing French coastal villages. And within weeks, supplies were being unloaded at UTAH and OMAHA beachheads at the rate of over 20,000 tons per day.
Captured Germans were sent to American prisoner of war camps at the rate of 30,000 POWs per month from D-Day until Christmas 1944. Thirty-three detention facilities were in Texas alone.
On the 40th anniversary of D-Day President Regan gave a memorable speech above the Normandy Beaches that sums up the reason that men would sacrifice their lives.Â I wonder today, who could give such a speech.